Connect with us


Philippines plummets in to recession as virus numbers spike

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Reuters

The Philippines, reeling from Covid-19 lockdowns that have destroyed businesses and thrown millions out of work, plunged into recession after its biggest quarterly contraction on record, data showed today. The Philippine Statistics Authority says GDP 16.5% year-on-year in the second quarter as the country endured one of the world’s longest stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the virus that’s devastated economies globally. It follows a revised 0.7% contraction in the first three months of the year and marks the biggest drop in economic activity since records began in 1981 during the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship. It’s the country’s first recession in 3 decades.

The outlook for the archipelago is bleak, with the number of coronavirus infections surging past 115,000 this week – a more than fivefold increase since early June when economy-crippling restrictions were eased. The Philippines is expected to exceed Indonesia in the next few days, to become the country with the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia. According to acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua:

“Without doubt, the pandemic and its adverse effect on the economy are testing the economy like never before. But unlike past crises, the Philippines is now in a much stronger position to address the crisis.”

Philippines plummets in to recession as virus numbers spike | News by Thaiger

As health workers struggle to cope with the inundation of patients, more than 27 million people in Manila and 4 surrounding provinces on the main island of Luzon, which accounts for more than 2 thirds of the country’s GDP, went back into a partial lockdown for 2 weeks on Tuesday to ease the strain on hospitals. But President Rodrigo Duterte, who was reluctant to tighten restrictions after millions became jobless in the first shutdown, warns the country can’t afford to stay closed for much longer:

“The problem is we don’t have money anymore. I cannot give food anymore and money to people,”

The Philippines’ economic woes have been amplified by a drop in remittances from the legions of Filipinos working abroad, who typically send money to their families every month, which fuels consumer spending – the main driver of growth. Remittances fell 6.4% in the first 5 months compared with the same period last year, according to the central bank, as thousands of seafarers, cleaners and construction workers lost their jobs and returned home. Consumer spending in the second quarter plummeted 15.5%, the statistics agency said.

It will be a rough road to recovery as trade-offs between economic recovery and health will remain a big challenge to both the private and public sectors.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Nikkei Aian Review


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



  1. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    This thing really is the ultimate stress test for the global economy, and it really exposes the dependencies of some economies. Many economies have been getting by as sort of parasitically feeding off the more developed economies that tend to innovate and produce things. Many countries in the developing world are still relying on exporting primary resources, and letting the large numbers of unskilled labour get by on very dependent subsistence occupations. It seems very clear how badly these economies are in need of skilling up and training in productive industries.

  2. Avatar


    Friday, August 7, 2020 at 2:00 am

    Countries are now sanctioning China for what has happened in the world by freezings Chinese assets for compensation do you think the ASEAN alliance will do the same to cover the billions of losses to jobs

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Vietnam15 hours ago

Ho Chi Minh launches 3-stage reopening plan, international on January 1

Kanchanaburi15 hours ago

Border shacks to be demolished for aiding Burmese immigrants

Tourism16 hours ago

Tourism calls for Russia and India to be added to safe list

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Economy17 hours ago

Bank of Thailand plans real-world test of digital currency in 2022

Hua Hin18 hours ago

Hua Hin calls for delay in reopening amid Covid-19 infections

Chiang Mai18 hours ago

Chiang Mai Covid-19 infections swell ahead of reopening

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Koh Samui19 hours ago

Thailand’s bars and beach parties remain strictly closed (cough)

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

Covid-19 Sunday: Deaths fall to low of 56, provincial data

Tourism21 hours ago

Ministry of Foreign Affairs sings praises of Thailand Pass

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Covid-19 in prison: outbreaks from overcrowding now subsiding

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Covid-19 deaths receding, but still here; 1 month old baby dies

Crime2 days ago

Van packed with 39 illegal burmese workers stopped in Phichit

Vietnam2 days ago

Vietnam to test reopening starting with Phu Quoc Island

World2 days ago

Chinese law to limit homework and tutoring pressure on kids

Bangkok2 days ago

Thai man takes grandfather hostage in Bangkok standoff

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11